While the Canadian government provided few details on the copyright rules in the Canada – EU Trade Agreement (largely emphasizing that CETA is consistent with recent copyright reforms), the European Commission posted an updated fact sheet on the issue. The European document focuses on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, providing assurances that CETA does not contain ACTA provisions with respect to Internet providers or criminal copyright provisions. The document, which appears to be a re-release of a year-old document, states:
The text under negotiation reflects the fact that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been rejected by the European Parliament. Since both the EU and Canada negotiated ACTA, earlier drafts of the EU-Canada intellectual property chapter bore similarities to ACTA in the section on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. But since ACTA has not become part of the “EU rulebook”, this is reflected in the current negotiations with Canada.
Hence, the current text of the EU-Canada FTA is very different from ACTA, especially for those ACTA sections that created most uncertainty and debate:
a. Internet provisions: The ACTA provisions on the liability of internet service providers (ACTA articles 27.3 and 27.4) are not part of the current EU-Canada trade negotiations. The EU is proposing rules based on the EU’s E-Commerce Directive from 2000. As has been the case on the EU market for over a decade, this does not require the introduction of any general monitoring requirements nor any three-strike mechanism.
b. Criminal enforcement: The legally binding ACTA provisions on criminal sanctions have been entirely removed from the CETA text.
Once again, the only way to confirm these assurances is for Canada and the EU to release the CETA text. Now that there is an agreement, it is unclear why public disclosure should be delayed until 2014.